Merry meet all,
Whew. Samhain has come but is not gone. The New Year is here. I am tired but content with the holiday events. I performed two rituals, one to welcome in the new year by banishing bad energy. The other was a solitary Samhain ritual.
I also completed my ancestor altar cloth. I posted in the past about the altar cloth. This year I created an ancestor altar doll. I was inspired by another website and set out to make my own doll.
I printed out the template. I traced the template onto black knit fabric. I stitched the doll together and stuffed her with cotton batting. Then I added herbs that correspond to ancestor worship such as mugwort, wormwood and rosemary and a black hematite stone. I filled the head section with more cotton batting and stitched the opening closed. I added a patch of white fabric for the face. I marked her face on using a sharpie pen.
I made her a witch hat. I traced out a cone hat on black fabric and stuffed it with cotton batting. I found a weird thing of orange and black hair at the thrift store. It had a clip on it so I clipped the hair thing to her head. I even braided a section of her hair. I had a hard time making her a dress. I have LOTS of black lace. But finding the perfect fabric was hard. I finally made her a dress and stitched it on by hand. I stitched the collar of the dress to the black fabric of the doll. I added black and white striped socks to the legs and feet. I hemmed the dress and added lace cuffs to the sleeves. I sewed her a black lace over skirt and made her a shawl from the black and white spider print fabric left over from another sewing project. Now for the fun part.
She is an ancestor doll. I glued on a rune to the front of the doll, beorc- the closest rune to ancestor. Beorc means family. I also ironed an appliqué of a black spider to the front of the doll. I fashioned her a broom from a branch and straw outside. I painted the branch black and bound the straw using an elastic. I glued the broom and her hands to the broom. It looks like her hands are clasping the broom. I added sprigs of lavender to the broom.
I hate covering the tiny minute details but it is those very details that make such a project last a long time. I had to hand stitch most of the clothing to the doll. I had a hard time stitching the brim of the hat to the doll’s head. I did and in the back of the doll’s head, the glue adhered the hat to the head. I secured the collar of the dress to the doll which was more work but worth it.
She has a pentacle necklace. I named her Helga, The name Helga, in Old Norse, means “Holy”. As in “Helgafjell”, the “Holy Mountain”, the afterlife for those who were not warriors, but still lived good, honest, and honourable lives, and contributed positively to their society. It was said that Helgafjell was so beautiful, that one could not gaze upon it without shielding their eyes. Hardened, brave, and proud Valhalla-bound warriors and Valkyries would even weep at its beauty. Helga, meaning “Holy” (or “Sacred”/”Hallowed”.
I shall add to the doll to make her a true ancestor doll as time goes on. But I wanted to tell you how it was done if this post inspires you to make your own doll for whatever reason. I dedicated her on my altar and she now has a perch to hang from and oversee all activities.
Blessings, Spiderwitch )O(